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The purpose of this paper is to attempt to promote excellence in childhood education by providing their teachers a framework for best practice through explaining to them the role of play in a child’s development and how play promotes child development.
Role of Play in Healthy Pre-School Development
It is important for child care teachers to know that play is central for development of healthy children. Through play, children are able to intertwine all of life’s elements as they experience them. According to Trawick-Smith (2008), it is an unfortunate case when many preschool children do not involve themselves in ‘enough’ physical activities. Therefore, it is important that a lesson plan is drawn to help these kids develop a health lifestyle e.g. including physical exercises involving overall health gain. Some of the physical activities he names that these kids should be involved include dancing, walking, jogging, out door play and finally a health and nutritious lifestyle.
Play allows children to make their own life from what they experience. Creative play allows children to blossom, flourish and without which they suffer a serious decline. The reason for this is because young children are born with an urge to learn as they grow and they continually develop new skills if they are let to set the pace. To be able to do this, they need to do it in a playful but tireless manner. Teachers should be aware that children should not be treated to learn what they only want to teach them, but respect the children’s innate nature. According to the position paper, children develop as a result of play between the child’s experiences and growing. An example is where a child’s genetic makeup predicts healthy growth and tries to fulfill its potential (Almon).
Activities That Enhance a Child’s Development
Play activates take different forms and although it may look like the child is something ‘silly’, the kid is doing very well. Play is vital for a child’s development that it is considered as a basic right by the UNHCR. For large muscle development, a child will have to involve in running, jumping, climbing and in navigating play things. This way, children will improve their agility, balance and coordination through these play activities. These type of plays require no equipment or very little but help in enhancing a child’s physical development.
For the case of small muscle development including fine motor skills, a child will need to such activities like coloring, playing with toys, and cutting with small scissors or dressing dolls and will increase their difficulty of play as skills increase. This may include playing computer games, video games or computer games (Rushton).
Cognitive development is especially important for children aged between 0-18 months. These young kids will find playing games like kicking objects, peek-a-boo, and grabbing items important as they learn cause and affect reactions. Physical activities like sitting up, pulling objects to stand and crawling are equally important. Toddlers between 18 – 36 months engage in a lot of social development. These may include walking to an adult person, moving and listening to music will also enhance social development. A safe and nurturing environment is favorable place to learn language development. Interaction with older people like playing interactive games with parents, reading books, listening to music and using interactive toys will enhance the child’s language development (Trawick-Smith, 2008 and Rushton).
It is however important to realize that many children have very busy schedules which increases their physical development. While swimming and soccer lessons develop large muscles, piano lessons will develop deftness. It is however important that parents do not over schedule their children in a lot of playful activities but should ensure that the child has time and place to play.